17 ADHD Hacks That Actually Work

Valeri Gervaziev
6 mins read
Nov 30, 2023

Let's delve into the world of ADHD hacks, strategies, and tips with a practical, no-nonsense, head-first approach. 

Today, we're uncovering a treasure trove of lesser-known ADHD life hacks: those hidden gems that can be a game-changer in managing the daily ADHD challenges.

These aren't your run-of-the-mill ADHD tips; they're tried and tested strategies that have flown under the radar but have proven their worth in the ADHD community.

So, whether you're looking to streamline your day, clean, enhance your focus, or simply find new ways to navigate the ADHD journey, this is for you. 

1. Grayscale

greyscale mode adhd hack

The average person spends 4 hours and 25 minutes on their phone each day.

This 30-second ADHD hack can help you stop chasing dopamine & spend less time scrolling:

💡 Switch to your mobile to Greyscale mode!

It removes colours & makes your phone less addictive.

Try it just for a day.

It's a game-changer in fighting the digital addiction!

2. Blank Piece of Paper

pen and paper adhd hack

This is majestically simple, but works like a charm:

💡 If you need to focus, put a blank piece of paper & a pen next to you!

When great ideas or thought demons pop up, write them down for later.

It saves me countless hours getting lost in Wikipedia rabbit holes!

Simple but effective. 

3. Don't Put it Down, Put It Away

Does your house look like a bomb explosion site?

Here is an ADHD organisation hack for you that actually works:

💡 Don't put it down, put it away!

Repeat this like a mantra.

Whether it's the dishes, laundry, or your keys.

This tiny 10-sec fix can help you get rid of the doom pile.

It works like magic!

4. Immediate Calendar Entry

ADHD and forgetfulness go hand-in-hand.

Here is a tip to keep track of things:

💡 Make calendar entries for everything…religiously!

Tasks, meds, deadlines, birthdays…

Create an entry immediately when making the appointment.

And include reminders. Multiple reminders for each event.

5. Notifications

Quick ADHD hack to escape the digital addiction:

💡 Disable all your phone notifications!

Keep only the critical ones: calendar, texts…food delivery 🥡.

Your phone is designed to steal your time.

Don't let it - take back control.

6. Done is Better Than Perfect

ADHD and perfectionism go hand-in-hand.

Some would say surprisingly, we will say: "yeah, no kidding".

Here is a quick tip to escape the all-or-nothing mindset:

💡 Done is better than perfect!

Again, this is a mantra to repeat and never forget.

It's better to do little bits of every task rather than not start at all!

Remember that something is always better than nothing.

7. The "Evening Todo"

The timing is essential here:

💡 Set up your todo list the day before

Write a todo list as a brain dump the night before.

Then, prioritise the tasks based on importance.

It will clear your mind before bed and help you avoid decision fatigue in the morning.

8. Timers for Everything

timer for everything adhd hack

One simple step to deal with always being late and the ADHD time blindness:

💡 Set timers & alarms for everything and treat them like law

When the timer goes off, it doesn't matter what you were doing - it's time to go.

Half showered, wet hair, one shoe on, whatever it is, get out the door.

💡💡Use a visual timer for everything.

Alternate bursts of work with short breaks.

Focus intervals can be as short as several minutes.

9. Tips to Get Good Sleep

Lack of sleep can exacerbate ADHD symptoms.

And to make things worse, up to 50% of people with ADHD suffer from sleep issues.

In fact, research has found a link between delayed circadian rhythms and ADHD (assume you are a night awl too)? 

It's not a coincidence that people with ADHD struggle to wake up in the morning.

Here are 5 simple & powerful tips to help you sleep better:

  • Plug in your phone in a different room & leave it there for the night
  • Go to sleep & wake up at the same time…every day
  • No screen time less than an hour before sleep
  • Take a hot shower an hour or two before bed 
  • Cool the bedroom (18C / 65F is optimal)
  • Keep your bedroom pitch-dark

10. Write Everything Down

The ADHD Leaving My Body Get a Planner Meme

What is the most valuable and unappreciated ADHD hack you are not using?

💡 Don't trust your brain. Always write stuff down!

  • You have an idea → write it down
  • Random thought → write it down
  • Write everything down...immediately

Use a physical notepad as a second brain.

It helps you stay on track without fear of forgetting things.

It essentially makes mental information physical and is a substitute for working memory, which is often disrupted in people with ADHD.

Don't go without your notepad/journal in your pocket. Weld it to your body.

And keep in mind that physical journals are better than digital devices, which are often forgotten, lost, and unused. 

11. Time Blocking & Tracking Time

The simple 5-minute ADHD habit that can help with hyperfocus and time blindness:

💡 Track time...always!

Break the day into clear time blocks and allocate each to a task (or a few tasks).

12. Body Doubling

Body doubling is not just a Hollywood concept.

It's a simple yet powerful tool we should all use. 

💡 It means simply working in the presence of others (in-person or online)

Having someone with you while completing a task is a game-changer!

Just having them around makes everything a little more interesting.

Try it out if you haven't so far. And use it for anything: cleaning, deep work, taxes, boring stuff.

13. Break Down Tasks

Ever felt paralysed by a never-ending todo list? Here is a quick hack to use on a daily basis:

💡 Chunking: break every task down into bite-sized pieces

The smaller & more detailed, the better. It makes it easier to start and avoid task paralysis.

💡💡 Extra tip: use AI / ChatGPT to help you do this.

Benjamin Franklin famously used this technique to allocate each hour to a task or activity.

Benjamin Franklin time blocking diary

14. Gamify Things

We thrive on external reward systems that generate dopamine. Here is one way to find motivation to get stuff done: 

💡 Gamify your life: from going to the gym to cleaning

Set up a reward system & link it to your todo list.

Randomise the rewards: e.g. by throwing a dice.

Gamification releases dopamine & can make your brain all excited & happy.

15. Tile Tracker

The perfect ADHD tech tool to help you stop losing stuff?

💡 Get a Tile tracker

Oh, the number of times I've misplaced my keys, wallet, and…well everything.

It's like my brain has a knack for making things disappear.

These little trackers are a real game-changer.

16. Visual Reminders

This quick ADHD life hack can help you remember tasks…and other stuff:

💡 Use visual reminders for everything

Leave physical visual cues and reminders around the house in strategic locations:

  • Post-it notes
  • Sketches
  • Pictures
  • Symbols
  • Charts
  • Signs

Make it eye-catching: the more visible, even intrusive, the better.

Use these as a substitute for working memory to externalise information that you are holding in your mind (similar to a notepad/journal).

17. Do Something. Anything.

5-second ADHD life strategy to help you get unstuck from ADHD paralysis mode:

💡 Do Something small! Anything really!

The most important thing is to just do something small. 

It could be tiny. It could be unimportant. It could be insignificant. 

Still, it will get you into motion.

Then, you can start to tackle the more important stuff.

Where to find more ADHD hacks, tips, and resources?

For more hacks and tips, head over to our selection of the best ADHD products and ADHD productivity tools.

For more insights into living with ADHD, check out our selection of the best ADHD Podcasts and ADHD books.

In case you want to explore some less understood ADHD concepts, head over to our articles on: ADHD Tax, ADHD Burnout Cycle, ADHD Masking, ADHD Decision Fatigue, RSD, ADHD Intrusive Thoughts.

And in our ADHD Awareness Month feature we explore in detail the ADHD misconceptions and stigmas.

Find your flow with Deepwrk. Try online ADHD body doubling to get more done solo, not alone!
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Valeri Gervaziev
Valeri is the Founder and CEO of Deepwrk, a body doubling platform for ADHD adults to focus, escape distractions and achieve more, together. He spent 10 years in investment banking, most recently at Morgan Stanley, advising on $15Bn+ worth of M&A transactions and helping industrial tech companies raise $9Bn+ of capital. Valeri is also an author and neurodiversity advocate passionate about mindful productivity.